'Wiggo's career in crisis' - and other reaction to this week's big knee news

Concern and advice as superstar forced to drop out of Tour de France

by Sarah Barth   June 2, 2013  

Bradley Wiggins (Photosport International)

It's no surprise that the entire cycling world has pitched in with advice since it was announced last week that Bradley Wiggins was to stand down from the Tour de France.

A knee problem has prevented Wiggins from training to the intensity required for him to be fit enough for either the Dauphine or the Tour de Suisse - both crucial preparation races for Sky's Tour Squad.

Bradley is said to be as gutted as you might expect - and the pros around him seem concerned. "This is definitely a crisis point," Shane Sutton, British Cycling's head coach told the Observer.

"What will it do to him mentally? I don't know."

He added: "When you have a setback like this you need to take inspiration from others, so I'd cite Cadel Evans, who had a rough year last year but has come back to get on the podium of the Giro at 36.

"Brad needs to set some goals as soon as possible, something to get him back on his bike. The best would probably be the Vuelta, as preparation for the world championship individual time trial, which is a goal that has eluded him until now."

So a change of focus for Wiggo? It seems that's exactly what Sutton has in mind.

He continued: "He needs to improvise, find some diversity, do different things to get the same result. It's like a sponge washing a car – he's been wrung dry.

"After last year, from Paris-Nice [in March] to the Olympic Games, the numbers he was hitting were incredible; and it wasn't only that, it was the way he went about it. There was a steeliness there, a toughness, so much appetite.

"He's 33 but I don't believe he's finished. He just needs something to whet his palate."

William Fotherington has weighed into the debate too, with a column in Friday's Guardian exploring the cyclist's options.

He writes: "Wiggins now faces a key period in his career in the next month or two. If Froome performs in the Tour, will Sky want to return to the race in 2014 with Wiggins as their leader? He not only faces competition for No1 status at the British squad from Froome, but, behind him, Ritchie Porte, the Colombian Sergio Henao and perhaps Geraint Thomas are all emerging stage race talents.

"And if Wiggins is no longer the undisputed kingpin of the British squad, what is his status and what can he hope to achieve? He will need to bounce back quickly, or his entire sporting future may be in question."

But it isn't all doom and gloom. "He is at the prime of his career now. Missing the Tour de France is not a big, big deal really," Stephen Roche, 1987 winner of the Tour told BBC Radio 5 live's Up All Night.

"There is no question in my mind that Bradley cannot get back to beating the best of them again.

"I am sure it will only fuel his enthusiasm and make him come back even stronger and fitter and more eager next year. Physically, mentally and morally it is big of course but Bradley is the type of guy who keeps bouncing back.

"I came back too early and ended up having a back problem. I was still having pain and was trying to compensate with one leg. I did my back in. The most important thing is to listen to your body and don't listen to your interior saying 'I have got to get back'."

 

35 user comments

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Is this the ender Wiggins?



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1302 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 17:27

2 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
Classic British tall poppy syndrome i think. On the continent riders can replace their own blood with that of several sacrificed virgins and they will still put up statues to them.
Here we hate to see people doing well and take pleasure in wishing them ill when they hit a rough patch.

+1. It does bug me to read the media bigging up a sports star (Oh it's Henman's year, he can win, first British winner of Wimbledon in x years...) only to then kick them mercilessly (Oh, he's shit, we've got no talent in sport, Henman's a no-hoper).

Paraphrasing but you get the gist, it happens in most sports and I think certain aspects of the media are looking for trouble and "news" and gossip where realistically there's one rider with a bit of an injury.

posted by crazy-legs [519 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 17:43

6 Likes

The meed-ja have to have a story and now "is Wiggo's career over" has replaced the Wiggo v. Froomie as the line of the moment. The question is, how motivated is a multi-millionaire who has been knighted by his country? Wiggo himself will know that compared with the greats of cycling, Anquetil, Hinault, Indurain, Mercx his palamares are still thin. Does his stop now and become an admired and wealthy Sky commentator or shoot for greatness. It's in his hands.

posted by LeDomestique [34 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 19:22

4 Likes

Perhaps a career on the 6 day circuit Thinking

lifes goal is not to arrive at the grave in a perfectly preserved body, but to skid in sideways yelling "yeah what a ride!"

posted by wheelsucker [45 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 21:18

5 Likes

Froome won't win the Tour.

posted by iamelectron [108 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 21:20

4 Likes

I thought he wanted to go back to the track for the 2016 Olympics, so 2014 would be his last full-on road season. A quiet (socially) winter will allow him to prepare properly for that.

posted by racyrich [128 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 21:34

4 Likes

I think Wiggins and Sky do have a problem. With Froome getting the nod for the TdF and other riders in the shadows looking for their turn as team leader Brailsford has his hands full balancing all the egos.

Wiggins has put himself in the shade by promising to ride from Froome when it is his chance and also looking to ride the Giro. If BW had won the Giro he would be able to name his races and command his place his the team. But now Uran placed second and has effectively put pressure on himself to prove his place.

This seems like a harsh thing to say, but it is exactly the same in football. You get substituted, injured or don't play and you have to prove your worth and talent all over again. It is easier if the replacement is duff, but Sky are victims of their own success.

I think we will soon see Brad and Sky part ways unless Brailsford can offer his some guarantees. Personally I think that with squad they have and the talent coming through Sky don't need Brad. This isn't about writing anyone off, it is about development of a commercial sports team. Sometimes there are casualties from that. If Wiggins was at Garmin, Blanco, RadioShack or FDJ it might be a different case, but it is the strength in depth that is Wiggins problem, and perhaps a lack of clear focus.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1148 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 21:35

5 Likes

To be honest even a fit Bradley Wiggins couldn't have competed against Nibali in the Giro. Cant help but think Sky's preparation for Wiggins up to the Giro was pretty lame. He had too my mind only competed in 2 events since the start of the season and spent most of his time in Mallorca and Tenerife away from competition.
Personally I cant take to Froome as he is so sullen and his girlfriend dosen't help matters , so I'd rather see a young rider from a smaller team do well. As for the Vuelta going by last years some of the hilltop finishes seemed like a freakshow compared to the Giro and Tour but I hope Brad goes for It as well as the World champs.

posted by stanfree [16 posts]
2nd June 2013 - 22:34

4 Likes

Snakes and ladders?

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 7:49

2 Likes

bikeboy76 wrote:
Is this the ender Wiggins?

Someone's a sci-fi fan, clearly Smile

posted by Not KOM [79 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 8:48

5 Likes

Some Fella wrote:
Brian Smith was jabbering away on twitter last night about how how Sky are in turmoil (i paraphrase) with Uran leaving and possibly Stannard and how Wiggins has lost his mojo etc etc.
To be honest - for a team in apparent turmoil, love them or hate them, Sky seem to be doing very well.
Classic British tall poppy syndrome i think. On the continent riders can replace their own blood with that of several sacrificed virgins and they will still put up statues to them.
Here we hate to see people doing well and take pleasure in wishing them ill when they hit a rough patch.

I seriously dont know what Brian Smith's problem is but he has a serious beef with Sky (green eyed monster exacerbated by JTL situation, perhaps?). I think as both an ES commentator and someone involved with a rival team (in a minor way, anyway), he should be more circumspect instead of shooting his mouth of on Twitter and during his ES commentary. Word is that JTL was not best pleased when he heard that Smith has been talking about him being unhappy with his training programme...

And you're right about Tall Poppy Syndrome - a British malaise...

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 9:44

5 Likes

It's not the end of the world for Wiggins or Sky. Everyone, at some point, comes to end of the their career but i think Wiggins has at least another year at the top, Evans is an example of this but he may go for shorter stage races in the future rather than the GT's.

Can someone also tell me where the stories about Uran leaving keep coming from ? After the Giro he openly stated to Columbian media that he was really happy at Sky and was willing to stay for a lot more years. Mind you he added "if they want me still".

‘It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal nothing.’

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2765 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 10:14

5 Likes

stumps wrote:
It's not the end of the world for Wiggins or Sky. Everyone, at some point, comes to end of the their career but i think Wiggins has at least another year at the top, Evans is an example of this but he may go for shorter stage races in the future rather than the GT's.

Can someone also tell me where the stories about Uran leaving keep coming from ? After the Giro he openly stated to Columbian media that he was really happy at Sky and was willing to stay for a lot more years. Mind you he added "if they want me still".

I think it was l'Equipe who first put it around that Uran was moving to OPQS. Uran did confirm that he's in discussion with a number of teams as well as with Sky re renewing. I also read that Dave B was in discussion with him re his contract during the Tour. Comes down to whether Uran's top priority is to ride as a team leader at next year's Tour. But Uran's also smart enough to know that just being a GT team leader isnt enough if the team's not strong enough to support a realistic assault on the GC. So it'll be interesting to see what happens.

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:17

3 Likes

stumps wrote:
It's not the end of the world for Wiggins or Sky.

You are wrong, it is the end of the world for everybody.

I've started stocking up on tinned goods and bottles of water for when a 33 year old rider missing the TdF to recover from illness and injury inevitably descends in to the zombie velocalypse.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

posted by farrell [1458 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:22

4 Likes

farrell wrote:
stumps wrote:
It's not the end of the world for Wiggins or Sky.

You are wrong, it is the end of the world for everybody.

I've started stocking up on tinned goods and bottles of water for when a 33 year old rider missing the TdF to recover from illness and injury inevitably descends in to the zombie velocalypse.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Can you make sure you've stocked some beers too, Tony? I'll be over when the Velocalypse starts

posted by Sam1 [219 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:26

4 Likes

Sam1 wrote:
farrell wrote:
stumps wrote:
It's not the end of the world for Wiggins or Sky.

You are wrong, it is the end of the world for everybody.

I've started stocking up on tinned goods and bottles of water for when a 33 year old rider missing the TdF to recover from illness and injury inevitably descends in to the zombie velocalypse.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Can you make sure you've stocked some beers too, Tony? I'll be over when the Velocalypse starts

I'm not Tony, but you're more than welcome to join me just make sure you bring a corkscrew, or a multitool with a bottle opener at the very least. It may be the velocalypse but that doesn't mean we have to lose all decorum.

posted by farrell [1458 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 11:51

4 Likes

Would Wiggins do OK in the 1 day classics?

Being a bit of a TT beast and all like Cancellara?

Violence is not the answer, but it will do until we find out what is.

posted by TheHound [56 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 13:04

5 Likes

If Bradley had won the Giro, do you think he would do the TdF 2013? I think, probably not. So all that's happened is that he's crashed out of 1 race. It's not really a big deal but, as others have mentioned above, the journalists love a story to write.

posted by londonplayer [671 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 13:13

3 Likes

"Wiggo's career in crisis" - typical media knee jerk reaction. (I'm sorry, I don't know what gets into me at times. I'll get me [Rapha] coat).

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 14:00

2 Likes

The Velocalypse; new name for an evil-looking bike in stealth colour scheme. Enve wheels and four horsemen painted on the top tube. Sweet.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3200 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 14:26

4 Likes

I should have trademarked the arse off Velocalypse.

I'm going to rename my stag do that in fact!

posted by farrell [1458 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 15:10

2 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
The Velocalypse; new name for an evil-looking bike in stealth colour scheme. Enve wheels and four horsemen painted on the top tube. Sweet.

Two words: Rock Racing

Surprise

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1098 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 20:52

2 Likes

Email from the Comic in my inbox this morning, flogging their TdF 100th anniversary magazine. Guess who's in pride of place on the front cover...?

(Clue: he wasn't born in Kenya)

Ghedebrav's picture

posted by Ghedebrav [1098 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 20:54

4 Likes

I think Sir Wiggo has lost the fire in the belly after the year he had last and then this year's Giro not going to plan.

He should let 2013 go, maybe look at the TT World Championship as the last vestige of the year, but focus on 2014...his heart isn't in it.

Tripod16

posted by Tripod16 [111 posts]
4th June 2013 - 11:09

4 Likes

I, too, got the Comic's email. And I've since seen the mag in the shops. The news of Wiggins' withdrawal has been around for a week or so now. Can't they keep up? As to the fire in Wiggins' belly, it'll get stoked up again. He ain't finished yet!

Fran the Man

posted by Fran The Man [67 posts]
4th June 2013 - 18:22

3 Likes

Too True. There is allways next year. Good Luck Froome & Get well & Fit soon Wiggo Cool

Davetillyer's picture

posted by Davetillyer [22 posts]
4th June 2013 - 19:00

4 Likes

Not KOM wrote:
bikeboy76 wrote:
Is this the ender Wiggins?

Someone's a sci-fi fan, clearly Smile

For a while there I thought nobody was going to get that or at least mention it!! Laughing

posted by sodit [69 posts]
5th June 2013 - 8:21

3 Likes

"Concern and advice as superstar forced to drop out of Tour de France" Just to set the record straight I was never confirmed as riding anyway.

Wiggins just needs to reset his targets, nothing more, other than hitting the next one to get the press singing about him being back on form and the Modfather is back etc.

Worlds TT seems a neat idea to get something from this year and then be more confident for next. He will be Sky's figure head for a few more years yet, then a DS I reckon. lets be honest, the Giro was a total disaster, forget it and move on

Ah, but that was then

posted by Pitstone Peddler [104 posts]
5th June 2013 - 9:03

3 Likes

Never been a fan of Sir Wiggo,with or without the facial hair BUT he's an excellent rider and come on, 33?? Since when do riders retire at 33 any more (Jens V springs to mind).Give the man a break, they all have rotten months or even years: look at Schleck the Younger and 2010 season for Cadel.
Though if someone could just take Sir B and teach him a little about descending on a very wet road it would be good. Big Grin

heatherdh

posted by hdhow2 [2 posts]
5th June 2013 - 10:55

2 Likes

Pitstone Peddler wrote:
He will be Sky's figure head for a few more years yet, then a DS I reckon.

I'd be surprised if he popped up as a DS when he stops riding- more likely something to do with British Cycling, if he even wanted anything to do with it by then.

posted by Chuck [383 posts]
5th June 2013 - 12:14

4 Likes